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Thread: 4/3 short primes?

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    Default 4/3 short primes?

    I'm researching the 4/3 offerings for a lens to be used to acquire the images for large mosaic multirow panoramas of architecture and landscapes.

    For that application I need:

    • minimum barrel/pincushion distortion
    • minimum vignetting
    • minimum chromatic abberations
    • high resolution
    • focal length in the range 25-35 mm
    I assume that a prime lens has the highest likelihood of best fulfilling these criteria.

    So, what do we have?

    Sigma 24/1.8
    Leica 25/1.4
    Sigma 30/1.4
    Zuiko Digital 35/3.5 macro

    Those are the ones I'm aware of.

    Has anyone here seen any comparable tests of (or a subset of) these lenses?

    I'm, particularly interested in any information about how the Leica 25/1.4 performs.


    Cheers, Jens
    Motto: Wildlife won't come to me unless I go to it.
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    My Wildlife Photos: jensbirch.smugmug.com

    E-5, E-3, E-510, IR-E-1 ,E-P2
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    Default Re: 4/3 short primes?

    I don't have any of these lenses, but have been very interested in all of them. My take on the Sigmas from everything I have seen is that people don't seem to be very excited about them. People have posted a lot of images that are a bit soft. They are very large lenses and look quite a bit different than the Zuikos do. People who buy them seem to want very much to like them, but to me (reading between the lines) they don't seem thrilled with them. (Bill, er, "Bootstrap," seems to like his Sigma, though, and the images he posts from it are really good).

    The Leica? I think it's, well, a Leica. Superb performance and very expensive.

    The Zuiko 35mm is pretty slow, but seems to offer amazing performance to price value. It seems like it's a well-kept secret, kind of like the 40-150 f3.5-4.5 kit lens was. I have seen some really, really sharp images posted from that lens.

    Bottom line? I got nothin' whatsoever against Sigma, but it sort of seems as though your budget is the main thing here. If the sky's the limit, find the Leica and buy it. If you don't have lots of money to spend, get the Zuiko.

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    Default Re: 4/3 short primes?

    I can't provide much help, as the only lens on your list that I've shot a panorama with is the 35mm Macro. It does have one significant feature in its favour: because the lens itself is absolutely tiny, it's hard to not be on its nodal point.

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    Default Re: 4/3 short primes?

    Or just use your 50/2 and shoot more rows!

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    Default Re: 4/3 short primes?

    The 11-22 also provides exceptional performance, with very little distortion. Some people on this forum shoot architecture and seem to love it.
    Check my pseudorandom wanderings on http://undefinedpattern.blogspot.com/ - comments most welcome!

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    Default Re: 4/3 short primes?

    Quote Originally Posted by jebir View Post
    [*]focal length in the range 25-35 mm[/LIST]I assume that a prime lens has the highest likelihood of best fulfilling these criteria.

    So, what do we have?

    Sigma 24/1.8
    Leica 25/1.4
    Sigma 30/1.4
    Zuiko Digital 35/3.5 macro

    Cheers, Jens
    I wanted to respond it to you, why you simply don't use your 7-14, when I read - you want focal length in range 25-35?
    Probably best would be leica prime. BUT it is expensive - and even worst - probably you can't find it anyway.

    Probably Zuiko 35 would be the easiest.

    How about some manual focus prime? Some Contax Distagon - 25/28/35 f2.8 perhaps? (at keh.com prices are in range of around 300USD).

    Let me check Leica R?
    21f4 angulon (around 600USD),
    24f2.8 elmarit (also around 600usd)
    28/35 2.8 elmarit (around 300USD).

    just an idea?

    However I doubt the resolution would be better then zuiko 35 macro

    Yours Bojan

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    Default Re: 4/3 short primes?

    Hi acme,

    that is not a viable option. I have done that with the 50/2.0 but there are several drawbacks which is easily illustrated by an example:

    If I want a FOV equivalent to a 12 mm focal length (AOV=84), then using the 50/2.0 (AOV=24) and allowing for 25% overlap I need to cover the scene with (Edit:7x7=49) 5x5=25 images with several problems as a consequence:
    • The time between the first and the last shot will be so long that the light as well as the scene itself likely will change.
    • Small partial AOVs makes it difficult to ensure overlap - in particular in feature-less parts like the sky.
    • It is easy to miss a part of the scene when having to keep track of that many shots.
    • Stitching can be a challenge with that many shots, large clear skies will get a checkered pattern due to the vignetting of the lens. (Yes, it is a real problem.)
    • etc.
    As a comparison, to cover the same FOV of a 12 mm lens with composite images taken with a 25 mm standard lens (AOV=47) I will need maximum (Edit: 16) 9 shots which is a lot more managable.

    My choice of focal length range is dictated by perspective distortion at the low end and practical shooting/stitching considerations in the upper end. These limitations are independent of lens quality so I'm now trying to figure out the technical qualities of lenses in that range.

    Cheers, Jens.
    Motto: Wildlife won't come to me unless I go to it.
    --------------------------------------------------------
    My Wildlife Photos: jensbirch.smugmug.com

    E-5, E-3, E-510, IR-E-1 ,E-P2
    ZD: 7-14, 14-54, 50, 50-200 SWD, 90-250/2.8, 300/2.8, EC-14, EC-20
    Peleng 8mm fisheye, shift Tamron SP 17/3.5, Tokina AT-X 300/2.8
    FL-50R, FL-40, FL-20, HLD-2, HLD-4, cleaved ZD EX-25 w. electric bypass, 250D, 500D, KatzEye Plus OptiBrite
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    Default Re: 4/3 short primes?

    Jens,
    As ditto said above, I have the Sigma 24mm f/1.8 and am quite pleased with it in all respects. Other than being fairly loud when focusing, I cannot otherwise fault it.

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    Default Re: 4/3 short primes?

    Hi Syntax,

    I'm sure the 11-22 will at the long end will work for such large panoramas. I'll take it into consideration. However, since it is a lens that I don't have and I already have its range covered, I am thinking a top-notch prime lens would be a sensible addition to my 4/3 lens collection.

    Cheers, Jens.
    Motto: Wildlife won't come to me unless I go to it.
    --------------------------------------------------------
    My Wildlife Photos: jensbirch.smugmug.com

    E-5, E-3, E-510, IR-E-1 ,E-P2
    ZD: 7-14, 14-54, 50, 50-200 SWD, 90-250/2.8, 300/2.8, EC-14, EC-20
    Peleng 8mm fisheye, shift Tamron SP 17/3.5, Tokina AT-X 300/2.8
    FL-50R, FL-40, FL-20, HLD-2, HLD-4, cleaved ZD EX-25 w. electric bypass, 250D, 500D, KatzEye Plus OptiBrite
    Feisol CT-3472LV and CM-1471

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    Default Re: 4/3 short primes?

    Hi Bojan,

    I know the Leica lens will be expensive and that is why I am doung this inquiry among fellow 4/3 shooters.

    Your suggested lenses are surely very good but considering that the Leica 25/1.4 is 1-2 stops faster and a 4/3 lens already from the drawing board, I think it may be worth the extra $300-400 if it is clearly superior.

    Cheers, Jens
    Motto: Wildlife won't come to me unless I go to it.
    --------------------------------------------------------
    My Wildlife Photos: jensbirch.smugmug.com

    E-5, E-3, E-510, IR-E-1 ,E-P2
    ZD: 7-14, 14-54, 50, 50-200 SWD, 90-250/2.8, 300/2.8, EC-14, EC-20
    Peleng 8mm fisheye, shift Tamron SP 17/3.5, Tokina AT-X 300/2.8
    FL-50R, FL-40, FL-20, HLD-2, HLD-4, cleaved ZD EX-25 w. electric bypass, 250D, 500D, KatzEye Plus OptiBrite
    Feisol CT-3472LV and CM-1471

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    Default Re: 4/3 short primes?

    Quote Originally Posted by jebir View Post
    Hi Bojan,

    I know the Leica lens will be expensive and that is why I am doung this inquiry among fellow 4/3 shooters.

    Your suggested lenses are surely very good but considering that the Leica 25/1.4 is 1-2 stops faster and a 4/3 lens already from the drawing board, I think it may be worth the extra $300-400 if it is clearly superior.

    Cheers, Jens
    I bet it will be overall better lens especially when you take speed into account. But the biggest problem is non availability of it

    I've taken couple of test shots with it this summer during Henrys digital expo. If you want me, I'll send ORFs to you.

    Let me know

    Yours Bojan

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    Default Re: 4/3 short primes?

    I saw no requirement for auto-focus in your specification.

    Why not consider some of the tasty OM Zuikos?
    :::: Jan Steinman, EcoReality ::::

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    Default Re: 4/3 short primes?

    Hi Jan,

    I have been considered getting an OMZ 24/2.8 for a long time but never really got around to grab one. MF and manual aperture are no problems for me - I shoot like that every day. It would definitely be a useful lens for this project if it fulfils the other specs. Unfortunetely, I don't think it will beat the ZD 14-54 but that remains to be seen. I may just as well get one and test it. Any particular serial numbers to look out for?

    Maybe a PC Zuiko 24/2.8 would be even better... but then I think I'd have to postpone the E-P1 acquisition a couple of years...

    Cheers, Jens.
    Motto: Wildlife won't come to me unless I go to it.
    --------------------------------------------------------
    My Wildlife Photos: jensbirch.smugmug.com

    E-5, E-3, E-510, IR-E-1 ,E-P2
    ZD: 7-14, 14-54, 50, 50-200 SWD, 90-250/2.8, 300/2.8, EC-14, EC-20
    Peleng 8mm fisheye, shift Tamron SP 17/3.5, Tokina AT-X 300/2.8
    FL-50R, FL-40, FL-20, HLD-2, HLD-4, cleaved ZD EX-25 w. electric bypass, 250D, 500D, KatzEye Plus OptiBrite
    Feisol CT-3472LV and CM-1471

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    Default Re: 4/3 short primes?

    Most of the older manual film lenses in the 28mm focal length and down are just ok to use. The only real advantages to using a WA may be speed and compactness. But compared to the images from the Olympus zooms, they are generally not even as good. The new Zuikos maximize image quality from the sensor, unlike the old film lens designs. But given the cost of these lenses, (in the 20-35mm range anyway, f2.8, the old Olympus f2.0s cost a lot and the 18mm is four figures to buy) experimenting isn't such a bad idea. I've used the 24, 28 and 35 plus a bunch of other mfgs, and of the group, the 35mm f2.8 worked best, likely because it was the longest focal length. It ties in with the idea that steep angles of light ray entry do not mix well with digital sensors and the 24mm had the steepest. I'm using a Zeiss Jena 24mm f2.8 that actually came in the old OM mount. Nice enough lens, excellent coatings, light, compact, better wide open than the Olympus 14-54mm is wide open, but at f8, I'd give the nod to the zoom.

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    Default Re: 4/3 short primes?

    Quote Originally Posted by rander3127 View Post
    Most of the older manual film lenses in the 28mm focal length and down are just ok to use.
    It depends. I will agree that the teles do better, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by rander3127 View Post
    ... the 18mm is four figures to buy
    Really? You want one for "four figures?" You can have mine!

    (I think you'll find they're more like $600.)

    Biofos.com has a great review of a number of OM Zuikos on an E-1. The 24/2.8 was "highly recommended". I did a review of OM Zuiko macro lenses on the same site, and a review of OM telephotos on my own site.
    :::: Jan Steinman, EcoReality ::::

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    Default Re: 4/3 short primes?

    I personally believe the Leica 25mm to be a myth. I haven't seen a working copy. I think it would be ideal though.
    If I could find one I probably would buy it.

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    Default Re: 4/3 short primes?

    It's depressing that B&H isn't even taking orders. I don't know what to make of that. I've been tempted by the eBay offerings but going without a warranty on a lens that had early problems is too risky for me. Should be saving my pennies for the E-3 anyway.

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    Default Re: 4/3 short primes?

    Quote Originally Posted by tspore View Post
    I personally believe the Leica 25mm to be a myth. I haven't seen a working copy. I think it would be ideal though.
    If I could find one I probably would buy it.
    there is a (web)shop here in Holland that claims to have the Leica 25/1.4 on stock, for 'only' 849,- euro's.

    but I want a shorter prime, preferably a 17mm. that is by far my most used focal length on my 14-54.

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    Default Re: 4/3 short primes?

    I have both the 35mm MAcro and the Sigma 30mm f/1.4, and I tend to prefer the 35mm Zuiko for landscapes.

    -It's smaller, lighter, and thus less prone to shake
    -I usually shoot panoramas around f/9 or so, so having a fast lens isn't of much use
    -The slow focusing of the Zuiko is irrelevant since I shoot panos in MF.
    -The Zuiko 35mm is the sharpest lens I own.


    BTW, the live view of the E510 is great for panoramas. You might also want to get a 3-axis tripod head with angle measurement scales. I use this one from Manfrotto: http://www.manfrotto.com/Jahia/site/manfrotto/cache/offonce/pid/4432?livid=80|81&lsf=81&child=1

    Knowing the AOV of your lens, you don't even need the viewfinder to take the panorama, I just use the angle scale and snap a few consecutive shots.


    Luc
    Thank you Oly, it's been a good 5-year run!

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